Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oakland Council to Discuss Selling Convention Centers

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 11:12 AM

The Oakland City Council will discuss this afternoon a proposal by city staff, concerning the possible sale of city-owned properties to help close a projected $19 million budget deficit. Staff has suggested such a sale might include the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, along Lake Merritt, and the George P. Scotlan Convention Center, in downtown Oakland. As reported by the Chron, city staffers estimate that the centers could generate $11.6 million in one-time revenues, although they acknowledge that selling the properties in the current real estate market could be difficult.

City staff recommends against further budget cuts to make up the projected deficit, because city departments were decimated earlier this year when the council slashed more than $90 million to balance this year's books. The council also is scheduled to discuss proposals to raise the city's utility tax rate and the local sales tax rate, along with a parcel tax measure to help fund police and fire services. All three of the tax measures would require voter approval.

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